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Hidden Risks of Chewing Gum: 1800Dentist.com

Throughout time chewing gum has been a popular treat that has evolved from birch bark to a multi-billion dollar industry. Estimates suggest that every year, humans chomp on 100,000 tons of chewing gum, enough to support an industry with world-wide sales at the $19 billion mark. Although there are plenty of gum choices that can actually promote dental health, there are also risks associated with the habit.

There are hundreds of varieties of chewing gum and depending on the choice made (sugar-free with xylitol), the treat can help boost dental care lower levels of tooth decay occurrences. Despite the scientifically perks associated with gum chewing, there are risks associated with the behavior that every gum chewer should be aware of.

Chewing Gum Can Make You Stupid

For less than a dollar, anyone can become a proud owner of a pack of chewing gum. For that minor investment, individuals can rely on gum to control bad breath, quit smoking and use it to help lose weight. Chewing gum will also naturally increase the production of saliva and that can reduce the odds of developing tooth decay and dental cavities. Research has also indicated that chewing gum can negatively impact cognitive thinking in humans.

There has long been a scientific interest in chewing gum and intelligence. One study conducted by big brains at the University of Cardiff in the UK has shown that the process can actual inhibit effective short-term memory. In the Cardiff study, gum chewers against their non-chomping counterparts in regards to group participants needing to repeat a list words or numbers in the order which they were received in addition to identify items intentionally left of the test.

Study results showed that those who chewed gum and needed to conduct the thinking tasks struggled with accuracy. Researchers hypothesized that the chewing activity prevented certain brain sectors from properly conducting the thinking task (http://gizmodo.com/5906241/does-chewing-gum-make-you-dumb).

Chewing Gum Causes Wrinkles

Smiles are powerful tools and those without dental problems such as gum disease, missing teeth and tooth decay can be incredibly powerful. Estimates suggest that nearly 75 percent of the population believes that an unattractive smile can diminish the odds of a person achieving business or career success. That assumption has been shown to be correct as the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has found that workers that are less than attractive earn approximately 9 percent less per hour than average looking employees (USAToday.com). Despite how great smiling is, the process also can contribute to wrinkles such as laugh lines and crows feet and gum can also be guilty of contributing to those lines.

Several cosmetic surgeons were asked their opinion on the subject and they said they see specific wrinkles associated with gum chewing in their line of work. Experts in the field have suggested that chewing gum can contribute to premature aging as the repetitive motion can break down support tissue in skin making skin look thin and in turn highlighting the appearance of creases (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35766796/ns/health-oral_health/#.T6vuMY5bz7h). Those who rely on gum chewing as their favorite vice are most at risk for the changes.

Chewing Gum Contributes to Oral Damage and Pain

Selecting the right gum to chew is especially important to those who have dental work that make their teeth and smiles whole. Individuals with favor chewing gum and have dental work including braces, fillings, bridges or dental crowns need to be especially careful as chewing sticky gums can adhere and accidentally loosen or break the dentistry efforts.

Perhaps you are a gum chewer who boosts perfect dental health and subsequently no dental work. Chewing gum in excess can cause wear and tear as well as trigger off discomfort caused by Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is a condition the "...joint connecting your lower jaw to your skull" and can cause pain and discomfort (1-800-DENTIST). The repetitive nature of gum chewing can exasperate the issue.

In order to mitigate any of the risks associated with chewing gums, gum chewers must conduct their due diligence in regards to brushing, flossing, eating a nutritious diet, drinking clean fresh water and partaking in regular dental visits complete with exams and cleanings. Those lacking a dentist for the latter can quickly find a great dental care provider by calling 1-800-DENTIST.